Riots: It’s Never Wrong, Unless Black People Do It

Another riot broke out recently. The place was in Columbus, Ohio. The reason was that the Ohio State Buckeye’s football team won the National Championship. The color of almost all of the people losing their damn minds is white. And of course, there was typical media hypocrisy, calling the riot a ‘celebration’ despite numerous acts of vandalism and arson.

We all know what would happen if those mofos were black. Let’s not go down the usual path on this one. Okay, let’s go down this path since “they” want to go to the same damn place. Let’s take a look at other forms of hypocrisy where a crisis ain’t a crisis depending on who you ask.

riot-ohio-state-wins-truck_640xRecently, VH1’s Queen of Ratchet Reality TV Mona Scott-Young concocted another poisonous series where black women fight each other at least once per season. The name of the show was called Sorority Sisters, a reality show that examined the goings-on of several women from a couple of national black sororities. Well, needless to say, certain folks, including black Greeks, especially black sororities , condemned the show to the ground. Boycotts were started and before you know it, it became a horrible memory.

riot-ohio-state-wins_620xAs a member of a Greek organization myself, or rather my alter ego, I too was appalled after seeing only five minutes of that crap fest. However, it was same nauseating feeling I got after catching a glimpse of Love and Hip Hop (L&HH) or Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA). I can’t stand shows that reduced black people to stereotypes, and most of reality TV, and their “starts” don’t relent on doing just that.

But the problem I saw was that some black Greeks who were chanting for the death of Sorority Sisters would tune in to L&HH, RHOA and other ratchet-based shows the next day and talked about what they saw on Facebook and Twitter. Something didn’t register. How was ‘Sisters’ different from the rest?

And we’ve seen people fight on reality shows who aren’t black. Yet, somehow it’s worse when we do it. We all know it’s a sign of anxiety when we see stereotype threats in public. But how come white people can get down and dirty and not be judged? One word: white privilege.

riot-ohio-state-wins-flipI’ve seen other examples where people pick and choose their outrage and vilification. Bill Cosby’s serial rape scandal drew ire from many people and sparked conversations about rape and sexual assault. Both are serious topics indeed, but I don’t recall anyone saying one word about Stephen Collins and his admitted serial child molestation claims. I don’t recall the subject of domestic violence being as important with our resident nutjob Charlie Sheen getting his ass in the news for his bullshit against women, but it became an immediate topic for discussion when Chris Brown came into the picture. And when it comes to terrorism, I guess it matters who the terrorists and the victims are. No one seems to care about the thousands of African people murdered by Boko Haram, but they stopped and mourned for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack. Not saying that we shouldn’t converse or stand up against injustice, but why are certain people victims, villains, and why are topics only as important as who plays those roles according to us? (Yeah, I fall into that trap too.)

Activism shouldn’t require any half-stepping where where you pick and choose your battles in a war that involve people across boundaries. Violence, rape, poverty, any and all issues that effect all groups should not be seen a problem of one group, nor can people be satisfied taking on a small part of the issue and feel like they are better than everyone else. Black people are not the only ones who deal with rape and violence, nor are we the main causes behind them. (That’s for all you racist jackasses, especially you so-called liberal types out there, who delight in highlighting black crime but don’t speak about white crime and think you love your whiteness just for that.) If you want to fight for a cause, act on it. If you want to condemn an issue. Act on it. But don’t wait until a certain person, especially a brotha or sista, is the main character and feel like you’re some kind of hero of the story. Ain’t no half-stepping there.